Nicotine Mints - Personal Success

Here you can share your experiences with substances that are ingested, inhaled, or otherwise consumed for the purpose of relieving RLS/WED, other than prescription medications. For example, herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, diet, kratom, and marijuana (for now) should be discussed here. Tell others of successes, failures, side effects, and any known research on these substances. [Posts on these subjects created prior to 2009 are in the Physical Treatments forum.]

Important: Posts and information in this section are based on personal experiences and recommendations; they should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a healthcare provider.
XenMan
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:41 pm

Nicotine Mints - Personal Success

Postby XenMan » Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:04 am

As the title says, I found nicotine mints helpful for RLS, although I would advise caution.

My background is simple, change of diet around 8 years ago at 42 to keto, started to get what I thought were calf cramps at night, solved with a simple stretch. Then I went into extreme fat loss mode and used nicotine mints and gum to assist, which may have exacerbated RLS; not sure.

RLS was intermittent, inconsistent and easily solved with some water, a stretch or elevated legs against the wall for 5 mins or so. It was hard to explain to other people, as it wasn’t a cramp but a sort of half cramp that although not painful, was very unpleasant and disruptive to sleep.

I’ve had lots of placebos over the years that seemed to help, and then wouldn’t, which included avoiding cayenne pepper which I consume heaps of (after reading that it lowers blood salt), avoiding omega 6 from nuts, supplementing the minerals in electrolytes, huge salt consumption, huge water consumption before bed and during the night. The strange thing was, these things would work for a week or so and then no longer. I thought my existing tenuous grip on reality was descending into true madness.

About a year ago I started high intensity interval training (HIIT), which if you read the science and do it, is very good for you as you get older. This made my RLS go crazy, which I still thought of as cramps, and had to make a choice to do HIIT or not. I persisted with the HIIT resulting is some long sleepless nights, and I started to lose my will to live as the permanent fatigue kicked in.

About six months ago I saw a physio and described my problem. She had nothing to offer other than do some more leg exercises; which seemed to help a bit. After this I searched on line and found that it was restless legs; which I previously thought was made up and more psychological, like aspects of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and electro sensitivity. I tried all the remedies on line with no success.

I decided recently to give the nicotine a rest and noticed that my RLS got worse, even though previously I was able to give it up and had no problems. I was still doing HIIT and didn’t want to stop, deciding to find out what would happen if I took some nicotine when woken by RLS. My first attempt was a success, but I took too much nicotine and was awake for an hour. I then bought the smallest dose mints, 1.5 mg, and cut them in half. I would wake up as the cramping started and as soon as I had the mint dissolve in my mouth the cramping stopped; life changing.

Nicotine consumption before sleeping doesn’t seem to make a difference, so there must be something about the brain chemistry during sleep that needs a small top up.

I doubted that dopamine played a part in RLS, but nicotine boosts dopamine as well as increases heart rate, which may or may not help. As a side note, there is a study that moderate alcohol drinkers have reduced chances of dementia with the possible mechanism being that during non REM sleep your brain circulates brain/spinal fluid to clear the metabolites from your brain and the increased heart rate from alcohol consumption assists; so the nicotine at night may help in the same way. There is strong link to not sleeping and dementia, so any possible negative effects of nicotine may be worth it for this alone.

If you have never smoked, and would like to try this, I would suggest finding the smallest dose mints, cut them in half and try during the day to see what happens. If you get a sick feeling, or too much of a hit, keep it in your mouth for a shorter time and remove before completely dissolved to feel a slight boost in mood and energy.

Then try at night, maybe on a weekend, so if you are awake for hours you can recover the next day. You could also try cutting a small dose patch into smaller pieces and applying a small part. I haven’t tried this, but could be worth it to avoid waking up. From what I have read, look forward to some vivid dreams.

Be warned, nicotine is addictive. It is nowhere near as bad health wise as smoking, but can slightly increase your chances of mouth cancer. From my experience, nicotine is easily managed if you take it just once a day, but there is a tipping point when it becomes regular through the day and the addiction starts. I found the good feeling and extra energy more addictive than any physiological effects.

Polar Bear
Moderator
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Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 4:34 pm
Location: N. Ireland

Re: Nicotine Mints - Personal Success

Postby Polar Bear » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:21 am

I believe this is the first time I have read of your experience with the nicotine mints.

There are various opinions on the use of nicotine. For example -
There are those who believe it can help relieve rls symptoms (boosting the dopamine perhaps).
Alternatively, others believe that smoking can aggravate rls symptoms.

A very commonly used phrase it..... what helps one does not always help another..... and we find this very frequently with rls.

If this works for you then be very happy, take note if it always works, or if it sometimes doesn't work.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

XenMan
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: Nicotine Mints - Personal Success

Postby XenMan » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:26 am

Without fail.

QyX
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:53 pm
Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Nicotine Mints - Personal Success

Postby QyX » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:03 am

This is weird ... always when I have traveled home over christmas or some round birthday I kinda relapse and start smoking again.

For some weird reasons ... these are always the days of the year where I have no trouble sleeping at all.

So this might be worth investigating. I will order one of those nicotine inhalers and see if it has some effect on my RLS.

Probably the most healthiest way to do this would be the use of nicotine patches ... but I always wanted one of those inhalers to avoid those relapses with me buying cigarettes.

XenMan
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: Nicotine Mints - Personal Success

Postby XenMan » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:23 am

Nicotine during the day will make things worse, for me anyway.

You need to take the mints when you wake and are cramping.

Bad nights need more, and more frequently.

I still do a stretch and a mouth full of water, and then back to sleep.

Inhaler should do nicely.

Oozz
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:09 pm

Re: Nicotine Mints - Personal Success

Postby Oozz » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:36 pm

QyX wrote:This is weird ... always when I have traveled home over christmas or some round birthday I kinda relapse and start smoking again.

For some weird reasons ... these are always the days of the year where I have no trouble sleeping at all.

So this might be worth investigating. I will order one of those nicotine inhalers and see if it has some effect on my RLS.

Probably the most healthiest way to do this would be the use of nicotine patches ... but I always wanted one of those inhalers to avoid those relapses with me buying cigarettes.


QYX - Are you saying that, when you return home, for let’s say... some sort of vacation/relaxation, your RLS clears up completely?

Also, thank you for all of your valuable posts.

QyX
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:53 pm
Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Nicotine Mints - Personal Success

Postby QyX » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:51 pm

Oozz wrote:
QyX wrote:This is weird ... always when I have traveled home over christmas or some round birthday I kinda relapse and start smoking again.

For some weird reasons ... these are always the days of the year where I have no trouble sleeping at all.

So this might be worth investigating. I will order one of those nicotine inhalers and see if it has some effect on my RLS.

Probably the most healthiest way to do this would be the use of nicotine patches ... but I always wanted one of those inhalers to avoid those relapses with me buying cigarettes.


QYX - Are you saying that, when you return home, for let’s say... some sort of vacation/relaxation, your RLS clears up completely?

Also, thank you for all of your valuable posts.


No, I am just saying that it becomes way easier to go to sleep at night, stay asleep and keeping a normal day/night schedule. The physical symptoms I have like pain in my calves is still there but those symptoms are easily manageable by opioids.

In the past I assumed that happens because of the social environment but now I have the theory that it might have something to do with nicotine consumption.

Sleepless at night
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:48 pm

Re: Nicotine Mints - Personal Success

Postby Sleepless at night » Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:01 am

Thanks for sharing.


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